Peace, Be Still

Read: Mark 4:35–37. What brought these disciples into this storm? There are plenty of times that I create my own storms/problems through bad decisions, stubborn pride, selfish interests, etc. Those storms are the result of disobedience (Example: Jonah).
But this storm wasn’t due to the disobedience of the disciples. They were precisely where they were when the storm came because they obeyed Jesus. They are doing everything right and yet everything wrong is happening.
Isn’t it true that storms are a good illustration of the fear and panic that often overtake us when situations beyond our control surround us and overwhelm us?
Fear, in general, isn’t a wrong response. It’s what we do with that fear that makes all the difference.
Read: Mark 4:38. Chances are pretty high that you have felt something like what these disciples must have felt. “We’re freaking and Jesus is sleeping. We are losing and Jesus is snoozing. The storm’s pouring and Jesus is snoring.”
Read: Mark 4:38. How long did they struggle before they went to Jesus? For these seasoned fishermen, their “know how” wasn’t getting them out of this storm. That’s when they shifted from “know how” to “know who”. They know who can help them. When your “know how” is insufficient, you “know who” is sufficient.
Their words were more of a criticism than a call for help. How easy it is for us to complain and criticize Christ for not coming to our aid, rather than making our request and then trusting him to answer.
What was their expectation of Jesus? “Jesus, do something to help us. Grab a bucket and start bailing!” How many times do we just want Jesus to bail us out of our troubles on our terms? Shouldn’t we instead invite Him to do whatever He sees fit to not only help us but to also teach us something about who He is?
We should not be alarmed by surprises in our lives. Surprises are divinely ordained moments where God is working in the everyday circumstances of our lives to reveal who He is, who we are, and who we need!
Are you overwhelmed by the troubling storms around you or are you overwhelmed by the peace of Christ within you? The reality of the storm came between them and their assurance of Jesus’ care. But Jesus still cares even when we misunderstand him and accuse him of not caring for us.
Read: Mark 4:39. He did something that his disciples never expected. He spoke to the storm. Quiet! Be still! Is also translated “Quiet! Be muzzled!”
I find it interesting that Jesus brought peace right where the storm raged. Rather than removing his disciples from the storm, he spoke peace right in the midst of that storm. Do you need Jesus to speak that over the storm in your life? Jesus brought peace to the storm on the lake, He can bring peace to the storm in your life.

Jesus still speaks peace over storm-tossed lives and calms anxious hearts.

Read: Mark 4:40. When storms come it reveals the integrity of your faith. And apparently, the disciples’ faith was found wanting. Of all people, Jesus’ own disciples should have had faith. Would Jesus put the same question to us? “After all I have done in you and for you, how is it that you have no faith?“
Read: Mark 4:41. Storms reveal what we believe about the identity and authority of Jesus. In every storm there is an opportunity for us to wonder and to discover more about Christ and who He is in our life. See Philippians 4:6-7.


Radical Forgiveness

Jesus offers radical forgiveness in impossible situations to improbable people.
Read: Mark 1:40-45 (Jesus Heals a Leper)
Read: Mark 2:1-12 (Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man)
Jesus’ radical forgiveness only offends those who haven’t truly experienced it themselves.

Jesus offers radical forgiveness in impossible situations to improbable people.

Read: Mark 2:13-14 (Jesus Calls Matthew to Follow Him)
Jesus invites unlikely people to follow him into unlimited potential.
Read: Mark 2:15-17 (Jesus Eats with Sinners)
Jesus puts Good News within reach of those broken by sin to offer them spiritual healing.


The Authority of Jesus

Jesus deserves absolute authority over all of my life.

Mark 1:21-22 — Jesus’ Authority in Teaching.

The people were amazed at his teaching. They immediately saw a contrast between the teachings of Jesus and those of “the scribes.” Jesus taught with passion and power. Mark doesn’t tell us what Jesus taught but it was more than likely a message of Good News.
Jesus’ authority derives from the Spirit of God, who came on him at the baptism. The crowds detect that one is in their midst who speaks for God and not simply about God, as the scribes do.
Your faith is not based on powerless moral teaching. It is based on the very person and power of Jesus, the Son of God. The Holy Spirit continues to be that powerful teacher within us as we read the Bible and listen for His leading. See John 14:25-26; John 16:12-13. Do you regularly submit to the authority of Christ’s teaching? Do you yield to the authority of the Holy Spirit?

Mark 1:23-28 — Jesus’ Authority Over Demons.

How often had that man gone to synagogue and the teaching was powerless to set him free? Could it be that the Law was powerless to release this man from the demonic power? But this day, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit and Power, taught the Gospel message — a message about the kingdom of God and the power of God to set men free.
Jesus didn’t come destroy demons. He came to destroy the power of sin and evil through his death and resurrection. Through this act of sacrifice, redemption, and salvation he would completely triumph over the power of hell. See Revelation 1:18; Hebrews 2:14-15. When Jesus commanded, the demon obeyed. Demons are expelled, and broken people are made whole. This is God’s kingdom. This is what the great King can do. This is why He should have absolute authority in your life, my life, and every life.

Mark 1:29-34 — Jesus’ Authority Over Sickness.

Peter’s mother-in-law proves that she has fully recovered by waiting on them, a sign of her physical wholeness and her spiritual responsiveness to Jesus. This miracle reveals that God heals so that one may better serve. Serving is also a characteristic of discipleship, which Jesus tries to get across with some difficulty to his disciples.

Jesus was going to show himself to be the suffering Servant before he became the great King. It is a recurring theme in Mark’s Gospel for Jesus to conceal his true identity. To reveal himself as the Messiah and King too soon would stir up the crowds with the wrong expectations of what he had come to do. To serve the needs of others was never beneath Jesus, the One who had ultimate authority over others. See Mark 10:43-45.

Mark 1:35 — The Key to Jesus’ Authority.

During his ministry on earth, Jesus was in constant prayer with the Father. This shows us the key to Jesus’ authority. Even though He was the Son of God, He still wanted and needed those times of intimate fellowship with the Father that only comes through prayer.
We must follow Christ’s example by carving out time for worship and prayer. We, too, should pray for strength to fulfill Christ’s mission. See John 14:10-12.

Mark 1:36-39 — Jesus Refuses to Misuse His Authority.

Like so many today, they wanted a Jesus of their liking, a Jesus who would perform miracles and fit into their agenda. He knew the multitudes were pressing to the door looking for healing, not for truth. His primary mission was to bring people to a place of decision to have faith in God, not merely to remove their pain. Yes, Jesus was a healer of men’s bodies. But that was only temporal part of his work. He was the Savior of men’s souls — an eternal work. He was not going to misuse his authority for a lesser mission. We, too, have authority for Christ’s mission. Do we misuse it for our own selfish purposes? See Matthew 28:18-20.


Let’s Go Fishing

Mark 1:14-15 “ After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!””
Time to Higher a Staff: What Things would you look for if you were assembling a team to change the world?
Mark 1:16-20 “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,”Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”

Luke 5: 2-11 Gives us a little more detail into this story.

This concept of fishing for people was not a new concept to the disciples.. It is actually in the old testament 4 times (Jeremiah 16:16; Ezekiel 29:4–5; 38:4; Amos 4:2; Habakkuk 1:14–17)

Four Principles of fishing that can be applied to Evangelism

Fishing is a skill that is taught, learned, and Practiced

What can you be doing to get better at witnessing to people?

Fishing Requires Patience: When you are waiting be praying.

Fishing is strategic and requires a plan: Different places and people require different ministry strategies.

Fishing changes the fishes life forever.
Mark 8:34 “ Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
This morning God is calling you and me to fish for men and women. If not us who? If not now when? When fishing for souls this week remember that fishing is a skill you can learn to get better at, it requires patience, it is strategic and requires a plan, and the ultimate goal changes the fish’s life forever.